NRA Explore
APPEARS IN Gun Laws

Airline Transportation of Firearms

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Airline Transportation of Firearms

To answer questions new airline security procedures have raised for NRA members transporting firearms in their checked baggage, NRA-ILA staff contacted the Office of Security Regulation and Policy at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

You can transport a firearm in your checked baggage subject to state and local restrictions, but you should first check with your airline or travel agent to see if firearms are permitted in checked baggage on the airline you are flying. Ask about limitations or fees that may apply at this time. NRA-ILA is working toward achieving uniformity and fairness in the rules and regulations that law-abiding gun owners face in their travels.

While surely few NRA members could forget this, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) wants to remind all travelers that attempting to bring firearms onto a plane in carry-on luggage is a serious federal violation. This is a "strict liability" offense, and TSA says violators can be, and have been, convicted regardless of criminal intent, or even if they simply forgot they possessed a firearm. TSA is obliged to enforce all the existing laws within its jurisdiction and will do so vigorously.

Firearms carried as checked baggagemust be unloaded, packed in a locked hard-sided container and declared to the airline at check-in. Only the passenger may have the key or combination. Small arms ammunition must be placed in an appropriate container: "securely packed in fiber, wood, or metal boxes, or other packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition. " Under TSA regulations, ammunition may be packed in the same locked container as the unloaded firearm, but airline rules may differ.

Some airlines, as private businesses, have imposed additional restrictions or requirements, such as limiting the number of guns that can be transported in a single case, or providing different standards under which gun cases may or may not be exempt from excess baggage limitations. Especially for international flights, many airlines follow industry guidelines that limit ammunition to 11 lbs. per passenger. Again, NRA-ILA is working to secure fair and uniform rules.

Following Congress's mandate that all checked baggage must be screened for explosives, many travelers have become concerned by announcements that passengers should leave bags unlocked to allow hand inspection. This suggestion, the TSA made clear, does not apply to baggage containing firearms.All gun containers must still be locked after they are declared at the ticket counter.

Checked bags-including those containing firearms-will then be screened for explosives by various means. Depending on the airport, methods may include high-tech "sniffers" that analyze chemical vapors, X-ray machines, trained bomb detection dogs or a combination of these systems. Not all of these methods can differentiate explosives from the gunpowder residues on a fired gun or in loaded ammunition.

If the screening detects explosive materials other than those associated with ammunition, or if screeners can't determine the exact nature of the alarm, and if all means available (such as X-rays) cannot rule out the possible presence of explosives, TSA screeners, working with airline representatives, will make every effort to contact the passenger so that the passenger can supply the key or combination to open the case, eliminating the need to break locks.

Cases will not be labeled as containing firearms. That practice was outlawed almost 10 years ago. Federal law now states: "No common or contract carrier shall require or cause any label, tag, or other written notice to be placed on the outside of any package, luggage, or other container that such package, luggage, or other container contains a firearm." [18 USC Sec. 922(e)] TSA will warn any airline that is marking cases that it is in violation of the law.

As always, since some airline counter clerks may have little training or experience in these procedures, gun owners should contact the airline in advance, obtain a written copy of the airline policy from a reservation clerk or the airline's website, and bring it to the airport in order to answer any questions that arise at check-in. For further information, see: http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/editorial_1666.shtm

Below are links to information from specific airlines.

Alaska Airlines

American Airlines

Continental Airlines

Delta Airlines

First Air

Frontier Airlines

Southwest Airlines

United Airlines

U.S. Airways

 

For more information about transporting firearms see the NRA-ILA Guide to the Interstate Transportation of Firearms


Also, see information about the BATFE Form For Nonimmigrant Aliens

TRENDING NOW
Katie Couric is an Anti-Gun Fraud and Hypocrite

News  

Friday, May 27, 2016

Katie Couric is an Anti-Gun Fraud and Hypocrite

Google-search “Katie Couric, gun control, edited” and you’ll see what we’re talking about. Actually, you’ll see what most news organizations are talking about.

Ohio: NICS Compliant Standard Now Recognized for All Valid Ohio Concealed Handgun License Holders

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Ohio: NICS Compliant Standard Now Recognized for All Valid Ohio Concealed Handgun License Holders

Yesterday, Attorney General Mike DeWine announced that Ohioans who possess a valid concealed handgun license no longer have to submit themselves to additional background checks when purchasing firearms.  The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and ...

North Carolina: Right to Hunt and Fish Legislation Introduced

Thursday, May 26, 2016

North Carolina: Right to Hunt and Fish Legislation Introduced

Yesterday, Senate Bill 889 was introduced in the North Carolina state senate.  S889 seeks to amend the North Carolina Constitution to affirm that it is a right of the public to hunt, fish and harvest ...

California: Anti-Gun Bills Sent to Assembly Suspense File Scheduled to be Heard Tomorrow, May 27

Thursday, May 26, 2016

California: Anti-Gun Bills Sent to Assembly Suspense File Scheduled to be Heard Tomorrow, May 27

On Friday May 27, the state Assembly Committee on Appropriations is scheduled to hear all the bills sent to the suspense file.  There are five anti-gun bills that greatly impact gun owners, sportsmen, and Second ...

White House Gun Control Meeting - Let’s “Set the Table” for the New President

News  

Friday, May 27, 2016

White House Gun Control Meeting - Let’s “Set the Table” for the New President

Speaking at a May 24 “Gun Violence Prevention Convening” held at the White House with state and local government officials, Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. appeared to concede that the window for further gun control measures ...

California: Assembly Appropriations Committee Sends Several Anti-Guns Bills to the Assembly Floor

Friday, May 27, 2016

California: Assembly Appropriations Committee Sends Several Anti-Guns Bills to the Assembly Floor

On Friday, May 27, the state Assembly Committee on Appropriations passed four of the five anti-gun bills on a party-line vote. AB 1664, AB 1673, AB 1674 and AB 1695 will now join AB 2607  for ...

“Rap Back”: A New Federal Firearm Registry

News  

Friday, May 27, 2016

“Rap Back”: A New Federal Firearm Registry

As part of the FBI’s Next Generation Identification Program, the agency is implementing what it calls the “Rap Back” service.  “Rap Back” provides law enforcement agencies – at their request – ongoing alerts on specific ...

Sen. Schumer Introduces Gun Control Bill After Brady Campaign Tantrum

Friday, May 20, 2016

Sen. Schumer Introduces Gun Control Bill After Brady Campaign Tantrum

For the past several months, Brady Campaign President Dan Gross has been repeatedly telling anyone who will listen that support for gun control is at a “tipping point.” Gross’ theory suffered a blow this week as the Brady Campaign ...

South Carolina: Time Running Out for South Carolina Right-to-Carry Recognition

Thursday, May 26, 2016

South Carolina: Time Running Out for South Carolina Right-to-Carry Recognition

The South Carolina Senate is set to adjourn next week, so there is little time left to act on  H. 3799.  While the bill is on the Special Order calendar, anti-gun state Senator Marlon Kimpson (D-42) is leading the charge ...

New Jersey: Anti-Gun Legislation to be Heard in Assembly Committee, Your Help Needed

Friday, May 27, 2016

New Jersey: Anti-Gun Legislation to be Heard in Assembly Committee, Your Help Needed

On Thursday, June 2, the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee will hear Assembly Concurrent Resolution 175/Senate Concurrent Resolution 101.  Your NRA-ILA, along with Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs (ANJJRPC), vigorously supported New Jersey’s right ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.